The Political as the Personal: Postmemory among Descendants of Polish Migrants in Sweden

in Ethnologia Europaea
Ann Runfors Södertörn University

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This article analyses interviews with descendants of Polish migrants in Sweden using the lens of postmemory. The aim is to show how they narrated growing up with parents and grandparents who recalled traumatic experiences of the occupation of Poland during World War II and of the communist era, and to explore the transgenerational imprints of this recall. A number of less-explored aspects of postmemory are elucidated: postmemory related to less extreme abuse and violence than that experienced by Holocaust survivors; postmemory in both second and third generation; postmemory as narrated by those who grew up in a different country to that in which the trauma of their relatives is rooted; and the lived after-effects of trauma.

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